Donnelly Center

Toronto, Canada

Donnelly Center

Toronto, Canada
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Pan Q.,Donnelly Center | Tattoli I.,University of Toronto | Maisonneuve C.,University of Toronto | Blencowe B.J.,Donnelly Center | And 2 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2016

Background: The intestinal epithelium plays a critical role in nutrient absorption and innate immune defense. Recent studies showed that metabolic stress pathways, in particular the integrated stress response (ISR), control intestinal epithelial cell fate and function. Here, we used RNA-seq to analyze the global transcript level and alternative splicing responses of primary murine enteroids undergoing two distinct ISR-triggering stresses, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and nutrient starvation. Results: Our results reveal the core transcript level response to ISR-associated stress in murine enteroids, which includes induction of stress transcription factors, as well as genes associated with chemotaxis and inflammation. We also identified the transcript expression signatures that are unique to each ISR stress. Among these, we observed that ER stress and nutrient starvation had opposite effects on intestinal stem cell (ISC) transcriptional reprogramming. In agreement, ER stress decreased EdU incorporation, a marker of cell proliferation, in primary murine enteroids, while nutrient starvation had an opposite effect. We also analyzed the impact of these cellular stresses on mRNA splicing regulation. Splicing events commonly regulated by both stresses affected genes regulating splicing and were associated with nonsense-mediated decay (NMD), suggesting that splicing is modulated by an auto-regulatory feedback loop during stress. In addition, we also identified a number of genes displaying stress-specific splicing regulation. We suggest that functional gene expression diversity may arise during stress by the coordination of alternative splicing and alternative translation, and that this diversity might contribute to the cellular response to stress. Conclusions: Together, these results provide novel understanding of the importance of metabolic stress pathways in the intestinal epithelium. Specifically, the importance of cellular stresses in the regulation of immune and defense function, metabolism, proliferation and ISC activity in the intestinal epithelium is highlighted. Furthermore, this work highlights an under-appreciated role played by alternative splicing in shaping the response to stress and reveals a potential mechanism for gene regulation involving coupling of AS and alternative translation start sites. © 2016 The Author(s).


PubMed | University of Toronto and Donnelly Center
Type: | Journal: BMC genomics | Year: 2016

The intestinal epithelium plays a critical role in nutrient absorption and innate immune defense. Recent studies showed that metabolic stress pathways, in particular the integrated stress response (ISR), control intestinal epithelial cell fate and function. Here, we used RNA-seq to analyze the global transcript level and alternative splicing responses of primary murine enteroids undergoing two distinct ISR-triggering stresses, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and nutrient starvation.Our results reveal the core transcript level response to ISR-associated stress in murine enteroids, which includes induction of stress transcription factors, as well as genes associated with chemotaxis and inflammation. We also identified the transcript expressionsignatures that are unique to each ISR stress. Among these, we observed that ER stress and nutrient starvation had opposite effects on intestinal stem cell (ISC) transcriptional reprogramming. In agreement, ER stress decreased EdU incorporation, a marker of cell proliferation, in primary murine enteroids, while nutrient starvation had an opposite effect. We also analyzed the impact of these cellular stresses on mRNA splicing regulation. Splicing events commonly regulated by both stresses affected genes regulating splicing and were associated with nonsense-mediated decay (NMD), suggesting that splicing is modulated by an auto-regulatory feedback loop during stress. In addition, we also identified a number of genes displaying stress-specific splicing regulation. We suggest that functional gene expression diversity may arise during stress by the coordination of alternative splicing and alternative translation, and that this diversity might contribute to the cellular response to stress.Together, these results provide novel understanding of the importance of metabolic stress pathways in the intestinal epithelium. Specifically, the importance of cellular stresses in the regulation of immune and defense function, metabolism, proliferation and ISC activity in the intestinal epithelium is highlighted. Furthermore, this work highlights an under-appreciated role played by alternative splicing in shaping the response to stress and reveals a potential mechanism for gene regulation involving coupling of AS and alternative translation start sites.


Ward M.C.,University of Cambridge | Wilson M.D.,University of Cambridge | Barbosa-Morais N.L.,Donnelly Center | Schmidt D.,University of Cambridge | And 14 more authors.
Molecular Cell | Year: 2013

At least half of the human genome is derived from repetitive elements, which are often lineage specific and silenced by a variety of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Using a transchromosomic mouse strain that transmits an almost complete single copy of human chromosome 21 via the female germline, we show that a heterologous regulatory environment can transcriptionally activate transposon-derived human regulatory regions. In the mouse nucleus, hundreds of locations on human chromosome 21 newly associate with activating histone modifications in both somatic and germline tissues, and influence the gene expression of nearby transcripts. These regions are enriched with primate and human lineage-specific transposable elements, and their activation corresponds to changes in DNA methylation at CpG dinucleotides. This study reveals the latent regulatory potential of the repetitive human genome and illustrates the species specificity of mechanisms that control it. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | University of Western Ontario, University of Toronto, Donnelly Center and University of Aberdeen
Type: | Journal: G3 (Bethesda, Md.) | Year: 2016

Disruption of protein quality control can be detrimental, having toxic effects on single cell organisms, contributing to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons and Huntingtons in humans. Here we examined the effects of polyQ aggregation in a major fungal pathogen of humans, Candida albicans, with the goal of identifying new approaches to disable this fungus. However, we discovered that expression of poly-glutamine (polyQ) stretches up to 230Q had no effect on C. albicans ability to grow and withstand proteotoxic stress. Bioinformatics analysis demonstrates that C. albicans has a similarly glutamine rich proteome to the unicellular fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which exhibits polyQ toxicity with as few as 72Q. Surprisingly, global transcriptional profiles indicated no significant change upon induction of up to 230Q. Proteomic analysis highlighted two key interactors of 230Q, Sis1 and Sgt2, however, loss of either protein had no additional effect on C. albicans toxicity. Our data suggest that C. albicans has evolved powerful mechanisms to overcome the toxicity associated with aggregation-prone proteins, providing a unique model for studying polyQ associated diseases.


James L.I.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Barsyte-Lovejoy D.,University of Toronto | Zhong N.,University of Toronto | Krichevsky L.,University of Toronto | And 22 more authors.
Nature Chemical Biology | Year: 2013

We describe the discovery of UNC1215, a potent and selective chemical probe for the methyllysine (Kme) reading function of L3MBTL3, a member of the malignant brain tumor (MBT) family of chromatin-interacting transcriptional repressors. UNC1215 binds L3MBTL3 with a K d of 120 nM, competitively displacing mono-or dimethyllysine-containing peptides, and is greater than 50-fold more potent toward L3MBTL3 than other members of the MBT family while also demonstrating selectivity against more than 200 other reader domains examined. X-ray crystallography identified a unique 2:2 polyvalent mode of interaction between UNC1215 and L3MBTL3. In cells, UNC1215 is nontoxic and directly binds L3MBTL3 via the Kme-binding pocket of the MBT domains. UNC1215 increases the cellular mobility of GFP-L3MBTL3 fusion proteins, and point mutants that disrupt the Kme-binding function of GFP-L3MBTL3 phenocopy the effects of UNC1215 on localization. Finally, UNC1215 was used to reveal a new Kme-dependent interaction of L3MBTL3 with BCLAF1, a protein implicated in DNA damage repair and apoptosis. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Marcotte R.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Brown K.R.,Donnelly Center | Suarez F.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Sayad A.,Donnelly Center | And 31 more authors.
Cancer Discovery | Year: 2012

Genomic analyses are yielding a host of new information on the multiple genetic abnormalities associated with specific types of cancer. A comprehensive description of cancer-associated genetic abnormalities can improve our ability to classify tumors into clinically relevant subgroups and, on occasion, identify mutant genes that drive the cancer phenotype ("drivers"). More often, though, the functional significance of cancer-associated mutations is difficult to discern. Genome-wide pooled short hairpin RNA (shRNA) screens enable global identification of the genes essential for cancer cell survival and proliferation, providing a "functional genomic" map of human cancer to complement genomic studies. Using a lentiviral shRNA library targeting ~16,000 genes and a newly developed, dynamic scoring approach, we identified essential gene profiles in 72 breast, pancreatic, and ovarian cancer cell lines. Integrating our results with current and future genomic data should facilitate the systematic identification of drivers, unanticipated synthetic lethal relationships, and functional vulnerabilities of these tumor types. SIGNIFICANCE: This study presents a resource of genome-scale, pooled shRNA screens for 72 breast, pancreatic, and ovarian cancer cell lines that will serve as a functional complement to genomics data, facilitate construction of essential gene profiles, help uncover synthetic lethal relationships, and identify uncharacterized genetic vulnerabilities in these tumor types. © 2012 American Association for Cancer Research.

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